Date: Saturday June 28
Venue: 1300 Smiles Stadium
Cowboys: Michael Morgan, Curtis Rona, Matthew Wright, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Robert Lui, Johnathan Thurston, Scott Bolton, Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo, Tariq Sims. Interchange: Anthony Mitchell, Glenn Hall, Ashton Sims, John Asiata
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Kyle Turner, Kirisome Auva’a, Alex Johnston, John Sutton (c), Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Apisai Koroisau, Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Thomas Burgess
It will be a desperate North Queensland to host South Sydney in their round sixteen clash at 1300 Smiles Stadium. Paul Green’s men have been heavily criticised for their poor away form after their loss to Newcastle on Monday night. The major team news during the week was that Johnathan Thurston will play at halfback as the Cowboys look to end a two game losing streak. Robert Lui returns to the side with Ray Thompson out of the squad.
South Sydney on the other hand are chasing their fifth consecutive win in their road trip to Townsville. They welcome back Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o. The Queensland Maroons trio didn’t back up two days after Origin when the Rabbitohs were too good for the Tigers. Nathan Merritt will move from fullback to the wing, with Lote Tiquiri missing out on selection in the squad. Ben Lowe also returns with Joe Picker and Luke Burgess dropping out of the seventeen.
If the Cowboys are to remain in contention for finals footy they must continue to win at home to substitute for their poor away form. It’s a big task without Matt Scott who normally leads the forward pack and ever reliable Gavin Cooper. James Tamou will need to take charge and lead from the front against a very good Rabbitohs pack.
For South Sydney they are set to continue their domination of North Queensland having won eight of their last ten meetings. They appear to have too much experience and firepower out wide. Inglis and Merritt are joined by talented rookies Kyle Turner and Alex Johnson. They should be able to win the forward battle with the Burgess brothers, McQueen, Teo and Isaac Luke making up one of the best packs in the National Rugby League competition.
South Sydney by 18